Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers look to continue their respective torrid play on Sunday night when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis.
George highlighted his season-high 37-point performance on Friday by sinking 7 of 10 attempts from 3-point range in Los Angeles’ 128-119 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. The win was the Clippers’ third in a row and eighth in their last nine games.
“(George) is in a great rhythm right now,” Los Angeles coach Tyronn Lue said. “Ten 3s again tonight. I wish he’d take three or four more.”
George is averaging 27.6 points in seven games this month. The eight-time All-Star also is shooting a robust 55.0 percent from the floor and 50.7 percent from 3-point range during January.
George’s 23.8 points per game this season is second only to Kawhi Leonard (23.9) on the team. Leonard has made 20 of 34 shots from the floor (58.8 percent) over the last two games to keep the Clippers ascending in the Western Conference standings.
“Just being able to win in different ways,” Lue said of his team’s recent hot streak. “You’ve got to be able to win pretty, you’ve got to be able to win ugly, and win whatever is in between that. You’ve just got to be able to win games.”
George, Leonard and the Clippers will face the Timberwolves for the first of four matchups this season. Minnesota has won three of its last five games following a convincing 116-93 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.
Rudy Gobert collected 24 points and 17 rebounds in his return from a one-game absence due to left hip soreness. Karl-Anthony Towns chipped in 23 points and eight boards for Minnesota, which shot 55.0 percent from the floor en route to improving to 15-2 at home this season.
“We did a really good job of finding Rudy early and KAT’s drives (were) quick and clean and he was able to use his size and strength to his advantage,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said. “Great recognition by our guys to keep going to it when it was working.”
It has been working well throughout the majority of the season for Minnesota. Towns is averaging 21.8 points and 9.0 rebounds while Gobert has chipped in 13.1 and 12.2, respectively.
“We want to see each other succeed,” Gobert said of his dynamic with Towns. “We want to be able to win together. That’s unique. In this league, a lot of teams have egos. I think we’re both in a place in our career now where it’s about winning. Nothing else matters.”
Minnesota’s comfortable victory over Portland allowed coach Finch to give his stars a breather. Gobert, Anthony Edwards and Mike Conley did not step on the court in the fourth quarter and no starter recorded more than 28 minutes for the game.
Gobert averaged 17.3 points and 13.7 rebounds to help the Timberwolves win two of the three meetings against Los Angeles last season.
–Field Level Media
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